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Ferrero Sues Singapore Coffee Chain for Violating Nutella Mark

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April 11 (Bloomberg) -- Ferrero SpA, the maker of the Nutella hazelnut spread controlled by billionaire Michele Ferrero, sought to stop a Singapore coffee shop chain from selling a drink called Nutello, claiming a trademark violation.

Sarika Connoisseur Cafe Pte, owner of 30 coffee shop outlets in Singapore, is trying to pass off the Nutello drink as being associated with Nutella, Ferrero claimed in a lawsuit filed in Singapore High Court.

“Nutella is an invented word; it’s highly distinctive,” Ferrero’s lawyer M. Ravindran told Judge Chan Seng Onn at the start of a trial today. The mark is the lifeblood of the product, he said. The trial is scheduled to run till April 15.

Sarika has denied wrongdoing. There’s no similarity between the “Nutella” and “Nutello” marks, which have different fonts, designs and color schemes, and the public isn’t likely to be confused by the two, its lawyer Tan Tee Jim said in a submission to the court.

Ferrero, which has 21,500 employees and 18 factories around the world, also makes Ferrero Rocher truffles and tic tac sweets.

Michele Ferrero and his family ranked 32nd among the world’s wealthiest people with $18 billion, Forbes magazine’s U.S. edition reported in March.

The case is Ferrero Spa v Sarika Connoisseur Cafe Pte. S9/2010 in the Singapore High Court.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrea Tan in Singapore at atan17@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Douglas Wong at dwong19@bloomberg.net

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